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- Event-by-event fluctuations of the kaon to pion ratio in central Pb+Pb collisions at 158 GeV per Nucleon (2000)
- We present the first measurement of fluctuations from event to event in the production of strange particles in collisions of heavy nuclei. The ratio of charged kaons to charged pions is determined for individual central Pb+Pb collisions. After accounting for the fluctuations due to detector resolution and finite number statistics we derive an upper limit on genuine non-statistical fluctuations, perhaps related to a first or second order QCD phase transition. Such fluctuations are shown to be very small.
- Two-proton correlations from 158 AGeV Pb+Pb central collisions (1999)
- The two-proton correlation function at midrapidity from Pb+Pb central collisions at 158 AGeV has been measured by the NA49 experiment. The results are compared to model predictions from static thermal Gaussian proton source distributions and transport models RQMD and VENUS. An effective proton source size is determined by minimizing CHI-square/ndf between the correlation functions of the data and those calculated for the Gaussian sources, yielding 3.85 +-0.15(stat.) +0.60-0.25(syst.) fm. Both the RQMD and the VENUS model are consistent with the data within the error in the correlation peak region.
- Event-by-event fluctuations of average transverse momentum in central Pb+Pb collisions at 158 GeV per nucleon (1999)
- We present first data on event-by-event fluctuations in the average transverse momentum of charged particles produced in Pb+Pb collisions at the CERN SPS. This measurement provides previously unavailable information allowing sensitive tests of microscopic and thermodynamic collision models and to search for fluctuations expected to occur in the vicinity of the predicted QCD phase transition. We find that the observed variance of the event-by-event average transverse momentum is consistent with independent particle production modified by the known two-particle correlations due to quantum statistics and final state interactions and folded with the resolution of the NA49 apparatus. For two specific models of non-statistical fluctuations in transverse momentum limits are derived in terms of fluctuation amplitude. We show that a significant part of the parameter space for a model of isospin fluctuations predicted as a consequence of chiral symmetry restoration in a non-equilibrium scenario is excluded by our measurement.
- Baryon stopping and charged particle distributions in central Pb+Pb collisions at 158 GeV per nucleon (1999)
- Net proton and negative hadron spectra for central \PbPb collisions at 158 GeV per nucleon at the CERN SPS were measured and compared to spectra from lighter systems. Net baryon distributions were derived from those of net protons, utilizing model calculations of isospin contributions as well as data and model calculations of strange baryon distributions. Stopping (rapidity shift with respect to the beam) and mean transverse momentum \meanpt of net baryons increase with system size. The rapidity density of negative hadrons scales with the number of participant nucleons for nuclear collisions, whereas their \meanpt is independent of system size. The \meanpt dependence upon particle mass and system size is consistent with larger transverse flow velocity at midrapidity for \PbPb compared to \SS central collisions.
- Centrality dependence of directed and elliptic flow at the SPS (1999)
- New data with a minimum bias trigger for 158 GeV/nucleon Pb + Pb have been analyzed. Directed and elliptic flow as a function of rapidity of the particles and centrality of the collision are presented. The centrality dependence of the ratio of elliptic flow to the initial space elliptic anisotropy is compared to models.
- Xi and Xi-bar production in 158 GeV/nucleon Pb + Pb collisions (1998)
- We report measurements of Xi and Xi-bar hyperon absolute yields as a function of rapidity in 158 GeV/c Pb+Pb collisions. At midrapidity, dN/dy = 2.29 +/- 0.12 for Xi, and 0.52 +/- 0.05 for Xi-bar, leading to the ratio of Xi-bar/Xi = 0.23 +/- 0.03. Inverse slope parameters fitted to the measured transverse mass spectra are of the order of 300 MeV near mid-rapidity. The estimated total yield of Xi particles in Pb+Pb central interactions amounts to 7.4 +/- 1.0 per collision. Comparison to Xi production in properly scaled p+p reactions at the same energy reveals a dramatic enhancement (about one order of magnitude) of Xi production in Pb+Pb central collisions over elementary hadron interactions.
- Search for deconfinement in NA49 at the CERN SPS (2002)
- Experiment NA49 at the Cern SPS uses a large acceptance detector for a systematic study of particle yields and correlations in nucleus-nucleus, nucleon-nucleus and nucleon-nucleon collisions. Preliminary results for Pb+Pb collisions at 40, 80 and 158 A*GeV beam energy are shown and compared to measurements at lower and higher energies.
- Energy dependence of pion and kaon production in central Pb+Pb collisions (2002)
- Measurements of charged pion and kaon production in central Pb+Pb collisions at 40, 80 and 158 AGeV are presented. These are compared with data at lower and higher energies as well as with results from p+p interactions. The mean pion multiplicity per wounded nucleon increases approximately linearly with s_NN^1/4 with a change of slope starting in the region 15-40 AGeV. The change from pion suppression with respect to p+p interactions, as observed at low collision energies, to pion enhancement at high energies occurs at about 40 AGeV. A non-monotonic energy dependence of the ratio of K^+ to pi^+ yields is observed, with a maximum close to 40 AGeV and an indication of a nearly constant value at higher energies.The measured dependences may be related to an increase of the entropy production and a decrease of the strangeness to entropy ratio in central Pb+Pb collisions in the low SPS energy range, which is consistent with the hypothesis that a transient state of deconfined matter is created above these energies. Other interpretations of the data are also discussed.
- Xi- and Xi+ production in central Pb+Pb collisions at 158 GeV/c per nucleon (2002)
- Results of the production of Xi and Xi-bar hyperons in central Pb+Pb interactions at 158 GeV/c per nucleon are presented. This analysis utilises a global reconstruction procedure, which allows a measurement of 4pi integrated yields to be made for the first time. Inverse slope paramters, which are determined from an exponential fit to the transverse mass spectra, are shown. Central rapidity densities are found to be 1.49 +- 0.08 and 0.33 +- 0.04 per event per unit of rapidity for Xi and Xi-bar respectively. Yields integrated to full phase space are 4.12 +- 0.02 and 0.77 +- 0.04 for Xi and Xi-bar. The ratio of Xi-bar/Xi at mid-rapidity is 0.22 +- 0.03.
- Recent results on spectra and yields from NA49 (2003)
- The energy dependence of hadron production in central Pb+Pb collisions is presented and discussed. In particular, midrapidity m_T-spectra for pi-, K-, K+, p, bar p, d, phi, Lambda and bar Lambda at 40, 80 and 158 AGeV are shown. In addition Xi and Omega spectra are available at 158 AGeV. The spectra allow to determine the thermal freeze-out temperature T and the transverse flow velocity beta_T at the three energies. We do not observe a significant energy dependence of these parameters; furthermore there is no indication of early thermal freeze-out of Xi and Omega at 158 AGeV. Rapidity spectra for pi-, K-, K+ and phi at 40, 80 and 158 AGeV are shown, as well as first results on Omega rapidity distributions at 158 AGeV. The chemical freeze-out parameters T and mu_B at the three energies are determined from the total yields. The parameters are close to the expected phase boundary in the SPS energy range and above. Using the total yields of kaons and lambdas, the energy dependence of the strangeness to pion ratio is discussed. A maximum in this ratio is found at 40 AGeV. This maximum could indicate the formation of deconfined matter at energies above 40 AGeV. A search for open charm in a large sample of 158 AGeV events is presented. No signal is observed. This result is compared to several model predictions.